Posted on Tuesday 10 September 2019 by John Mulgrew
Northern Ireland industry leaders will outline their plans to create tens of thousands of new jobs to Downing Street, hundreds of MPs and company leaders today as part of a major business delegation visiting London.
Trade NI – the new alliance between Hospitality Ulster, Manufacturing NI and Retail NI – is unveiling a 10-year plan called ‘Vision 2030’ at a Westminster reception on Wednesday afternoon, as the UK’s political system enters its most volatile period in a generation.
With just weeks before the UK is expected to leave the EU, more than 350 guests are confirmed to attend the event that will be addressed by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Julian Smith MP and the shadow Secretary of State, Tony Lloyd MP.
Business leaders are also due to attend a later event at Downing Street, and a lunch at the Irish Embassy.
Trade NI’s “transformative economic plan” will set out key policy priorities that have the potential to create 65,000 jobs and to make Northern Ireland a high growth economy.
In a joint statement, Trade NI's Colin Neill (Hospitality Ulster), Stephen Kelly (Manufacturing NI) and Glyn Roberts (Retail NI), said:
“Northern Ireland is facing a huge challenge as it struggles politically and economically with a growth forecast of around 1% or below. This is simply not good enough and we can’t sit idly by and let events overtake us. We must break the cycle of limited economic growth.”
“Our three organisations represent most of the businesses that make up private sector jobs in Northern Ireland. Therefore, a louder voice needs to be heard on their behalf so that they don’t suffer in the wake of the local political issues. We want a reboot of the economic policy of Northern Ireland, in order to benefit our economy and safeguard our growing business community.”
“We need to be bold and ambitious about creating 3% or even 5% growth over the next few years, but that requires decision makers to be pressed into action and a series of policy and legislative decisions to be taken and driven through. Our local economy and businesses have taken a back seat and we simply cannot afford that situation any longer.”
“Our Vision 2030 document sets out a bold new ten-year plan for creating 65,000 new jobs and creating a high growth economy. We want to make Northern Ireland the best place in the UK and Ireland to shop, socialise, locate and start a business
“The Vision 2030 plan sets out to create a better functioning business environment and attract further inward investment that will lead to a revitalised economy taking on the challenge in turbulent times.”
“We want to make Northern Ireland an eco-system of innovation.Trade NI is keen to work with all business organisations, chambers of commerce, trade unions and voluntary sector representation to create a new progressive partnership for change in Northern Ireland.”
And Kevin Kingston, chief executive of Danske Bank, sponsor of Trade NI’s Westminster reception, said: Danske Bank is proud to be one of the main sponsors of Trade NI’s Westminster reception. Trade NI is seizing the initiative and ensuring that the voice of the local business community is being heard loud and clear at a time of upheaval and uncertainty.”
“The vibrancy of the Northern Ireland private sector is imperative to the strength of our economy and we need to ensure that local businesses are protected and well positioned to be able to compete globally in the post-Brexit environment.”
Emma Gilthorpe, executive director, Heathrow Expansion, said: “Heathrow is delighted to support the launch of Trade NI, echoing Heathrow’s commitment to connect Northern Ireland to global growth and to share the benefits of an expanded Heathrow with the businesses and communities of Northern Ireland.”